Release date: April 3, 2012
Record label: Don Giovanni Records
Official website: http://screamingfemales.com/
It's only February, but we already have a serious contender for the best album of 2012: "Ugly," the fifth LP by New Brunswick-based post-punk trio Screaming Females.
The band, which has forged its sound over 700 shows during the last seven years, plays like a house on fire here, with rhythm section of Michael Abbate on bass and Jarrett Dougherty on drums acting as the foundation and singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster providing the flames. These are three people who were unquestionably musically made for each other.
The album opens with a killer one-two punch: the grungy single "It All Means Nothing" and the anthemic "Rotten Apple," which sounds like fellow Hub City veterans the Bouncing Souls reflected through a funhouse mirror. The band keeps listeneners guessing throughout, busting out a bit of Latin flavor on "Expire" and closing the proceedings with the stings-assisted acoustic ballad "It's Nice" that's, well, really nice.
"Ugly" was recorded by post-punk icon Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, Helmet) at Electrical Audio in Chicago, and the resulting sound is a perfect marriage of volume, aggression and melody, an "Ugly" thing of beauty.